Then the Lord said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’” (Jeremiah 15:1-2)

When King Josiah became king over Judah, there were three things he had to deal with and God was watching: 1) Judah could continue on the course of unswerving and exclusive faithfulness to the God of Israel on which Josiah’s reform had set them or 2) They could continue to worship their own God, at the same time reincorporating the worship of other gods alongside the Temple ritual, as had been the practice before Josiah’s reform. or 3) They could abandon the worship of their own God altogether, and give themselves over completely to the worship of the gods of Canaan, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. God told Josiah He was removing His blessing upon Judah, and to get off the dust of his feet, as the people had totally rejected Him and He sent in the destroyers. There would be no compassion poured out on those who had rejected Him and no funerals to be held, for the birds of the air and the beasts of the ground. Some would die from the sword, some from starvation, some for being taken captive, and none to be remembered anymore.


Dear Abba, this is a very sad turn of events. No one was willing to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness, because they were living not as God’s people, but rather like animals. Even those that confessed were not humbled by their actions and certainly were not penitent in any way. Be with all those who are hurting in body, mind, and/or spirit, that they might set aside their issues and let You deal with them on their behalf, and accept their humble repentance of their sins Abba. For those in conflicts around the world with wars and natural disasters, pour out an anointing upon them all, that they too, might feel You near them and take comfort in that knowledge. Amen.


God has never lacked the power to work through ordinary, available people.”


Thus will it happen to you, O Bethel, because your wickedness is great. When that day dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.” (Hosea 10:15)

Israel was at the point that Judah had found itself, only they heeded God’s word and confessed their sins with fully penitent hearts and God responded with grace and mercy. What God sought of His people was not more and more offerings, not more elaborate rituals of worship, but more consistency in their love. His controversy with the nation was over the absence of expected faithfulness, loyal love, and the knowledge of God. The entire nation failed to live by the covenant principles God had established and that they had agreed to live by. Priests and prophets failed to fulfill their calling, and the people plunged deeper into sin. Social injustice, immorality and political anarchy all revealed Israel’s lack of loyal love. Beloved, He wants us to love as He loves. He understands we are not perfect, but when we commit a sin, we are to atone for it and seek restoration of our relationship with Him. By doing this, we will feel His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.


If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1st Corinthians 3:15-17)

God’s Spirit dwells in His believers temple. The church is us! We believers in God through Jesus Christ are the church. Thus, it is to be built as sacred, built sturdy and firmly planted on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The church is a collective group of believers can be called God’s temple. This applies the Old Testament experience of the Temple as the place where God lived and met His people to the New Testament church, a group of believers with various geographical locations. God cannot be located geographically, but He can be represented personally by a member in whom the Spirit lives. Members have a sacred duty to live as God directs and protect the unity of God’s temple. Members who sow dissension and discord in the church must take seriously God’s threat of destruction. As believers, we have the responsibility and accountability to take the message of salvation beyond the walls of the physical church and into the greater world. The church I serve could not possibly fit into the space we have today, but wouldn’t it be fun to have that problem, that the message we are sending out brings people to us, because we are living out the life of serving God in such a way, that everyone wants to come join us and we could grow into God’s plan for all of us?

As the Lenten Season has begun…:

“Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and trust in God. Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. Fast from pressures and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy. Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.”

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